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I`m Not Making This Up
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June 30, 2008, 03:30 PM
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Here`s an editorial from the Dallas Morning News that I swear I`m not making up:

Editorial: So much vibrancy to build on

The trick is getting diverse groups to building [sic] a community together

The beauty of the neighborhoods that run from Jefferson Boulevard toward Wynnewood Village is how they mirror Texas` future – and capture the state`s biggest challenge. Plurality will become the new reality, creating an ethnic vibrancy but making it hard to build a community out of so many different kinds of people.

You see this reality writ large in this stretch of Oak Cliff, where middle- to upper-middle-income, mostly Anglo folks live alongside poor, working, mostly Latino families. You find tree-lined, prosperous neighborhoods like Elmwood and Wynnewood, along with blocks of proud working-class neighborhoods. The hodgepodge of backgrounds and incomes coalesces into a vibrancy that North Texas neighborhoods often miss.

Vibrancy is what happens when longtime Cliff dwellers bump up against the surge of gay couples fixing up their Wynnewood homes not so far from Latino families imbuing Jefferson Boulevard with a gritty mercado atmosphere.

Vibrancy is what happens when white-collar professionals and blue-collar laborers sit shoulder-to-shoulder at restaurants like the Charco Broiler, Tops Cafe and El Ranchito.

Bridging Dallas` North-South Gap: A campaign by The Dallas Morning News editorial board to lift the southern part of Dallas.

And vibrancy is what happens when agencies like Casa Guanajuato serve immigrant families a few blocks from historic, big-steeple churches like Cliff Temple Baptist.

The trick is building a community so everyone wins – rather than turning it over only to the poor or the affluent. Striking a balance will require smart economic strategies, improved schools and an attentive City Hall.

Consider Jefferson Boulevard, which many consider the spine of Oak Cliff. There are about 160 shops along its 11 blocks between Zang Boulevard and Edgefield Avenue. But 18 of those shops pawn merchandise, offer ready cash or loan money. Another 20 sell outfits for brides, quinceañeras or parties. And 15 stores provide styling for hair or nails – or, if you`re in the mood, a tattoo.

Undoubtedly, a market exists for dresses for that big occasion, ready cash or looking nice. But a thriving boulevard needs a broad range of stores to attract a broader range of shoppers. Retail feeds off other retail. And Jefferson lacks that element. Along this stretch, for example, there`s only one diversified department store.

In other words, the gays actually find Jefferson Blvd. to be not vibrant, but tacky.